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Beth El Minneapolis trip to Germany

Oct 27, 2024 - Nov 6, 2024

Led by Cantor Audrey Abrams & Dana Yugend-Pepper
With Optional Extension to Vienna
Sunday, October 27, 2024

Depart USA for Berlin.

Overnight: In flight
Day 2
Monday, October 28, 2024
  • Drive to Berlin and check in to the hotel.
  • Festive opening dinner with members of the Berlin Jewish community.
Overnight: BERLIN
Day 3
Tuesday, October 29, 2024
  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • Explore the Hackesche Hofe, an Art Nouveau courtyard complex designed by August Endel.
  • Visit the Otto Weidt Broom Workshop for the Blind, where during the Holocaust, Otto Weidt fought to protect his Jewish workers against deportation. Today a museum sits on the original site of the factory and is dedicated to his life.
  • Guided tour through the Grosse Hamburger Strasse, the center of the historic Jewish community of Berlin. Key sites include:
    • The memorial to philosopher Moses Mendelssohn in the Grosse Hamburger Strasse Cemetery.
    • The Jewish Free School founded at the initiative of Moses Mendelssohn and moved to its location 1863. The SS closed the school in 1942, and turned it into a transit camp for Berliner Jews destined for deportation. The school reopened in 1993.
    • The Jewish home for the aged, which was one of the most sought after senior residences in pre-war Berlin.
    • Other significant sites such as the Hedwigs Catholic Hospital and the famous Protestant cemetery of the Sophien Church.
  • Lunch in the Monbijouplatz
  • Visit the Jewish Museum Berlin with a new deconstructivism-style building designed by renowned architect Daniel Libeskind.
  • Return to the hotel for free time, rest and relaxation.
  • Free night with dinner on your own in one of Berlin’s exciting and colorful neighborhoods.
Overnight: BERLIN
Day 4
Wednesday, October 30, 2024
  • Optional early morning walk.
  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • The Progression of Nazi- Jewish oppression in Berlin and environs, with Verena Lucia Nägel, of the Fre University, Berlin.
  • Stage I: Drive to the Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp in Oranienburg, which had Jewish inmates from the time of its inception through the end of the war. Specifically, it was the destination of many of 30,000 Berlin Jews that were arrested during Kritrallnacht.
  • Stage II: Continue to the Villa at Wansee, where in 1942, senior Nazi and SS leaders met to ensure the cooperation of various government departments in the implementation of the Final Solution.
  • Stage III: Continue to the Grunewald Train Station. From 1941-1945, Gleis/Track 17 of the train station was one of the major sites of deportation of the Berlin Jews. The trains left mainly for the ghettos of Litzmannstadt and Warsaw, and from 1942, after the Wansee conference, directly for Theresienstadt and the Auschwitz Concentration Camps, with a concluding memorial service.
  • Stop at Potsdam, site of Bridge of Spies, of Cold War fame, on the way back to Berlin.
  • Free time and dinner on your own in Berlin.
Overnight: BERLIN
Day 5
Thursday, October 31, 2024
  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • Return to Kreuzberg by day to explore the cultural scene. Kreuzberg is home to Berlin’s punk rock movement, hip hop, and LGBT life and arts. Each year, Carnival of Cultures, celebrates different cultures and heritages with colorful street parades and festivities including street entertainment, food, arts and craft stalls, music and art.
  • Lunch on your own
  • Explore Berlin’s architecture and development since the fall of the Berlin Wall with leading architectural guides. Berlin has become a mecca for millennials, innovators and investors.
  • Free afternoon with optional visits to Matthew’s Church, located in the Kulturforum complex and built in 1846, and Museum Island with its collection of world class museums, including the Pergamon Museum which has the famous reconstruction of the Ishtar Gate of Babylon or take part in a Vegan Food Tour.
  • Early dinner on your own, followed by an optional Cultural Event.
Overnight: BERLIN
Day 6
Friday, November 1, 2024
  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • The Cold War 35 Years On: Where do we stand now, with a representative of the United States Embassy to Germany.
  • Continue to Topography of Terror, an archive and memorial the former. located where the headquarters of the Gestapo and SS once stood.
  • Walk to the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe. Built in 2004, the memorial is a 4-acre site covered with 2,711 concrete slabs on a sloping field. Below it the underground “Place of Information” holds the names of approximately 3 million Holocaust victims.
  • Visit Checkpoint Charlie, the best-known crossing point between East Berlin and West Berlin during the Cold War.
  • Free afternoon in Berlin.
  • Kabbalat Shabbat with the Berlin Masorti congregation and Rabbi Rabbi Gesa Ederberg.
  • Shabbat Dinner with the congregation.
Overnight: BERLIN
Day 7
Saturday, November 2, 2024
  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • Optional Shabbat services, or free time.
  • Shabbat lunch.
  • Depart for a walking tour through the Tiergarten, one Germany’s largest urban gardens that dates back to 1527. This 520-acre park includes the:
    • The Brandenburg Gate was built on the orders of Prussian King Frederick William II during the Batavian Revolution, the Brandenburg Gate is a symbol of European unity and peace.
    • The Memorial to the Sinti and Roma Victims of the Nazis
    • Haus de Kulturen der Welt (House of the Cultures of the World) Germany’s national center for the presentation and discussion of international contemporary arts.
    • Bellevue Palace the official residence of the President of Germany, erected in 1786 as a summer residence for Prince Augustus Ferdinand of Prussia.
    • Victory Column commemorating the Prussian victories in the Danish-Prussian, Austro-Prussian and Franco-Prussian Wars.
    • Soviet War Memorial commemorating the 80,000 Soviet Armed Forces who died during the Battle of Berlin in 1945.
  • Conclude with a walk along Unter den Linden Boulevard. Named after the lime trees that line the boulevard, Unter den Linden is one of the best-known and grandest street in Berlin.
  • Havdallah, followed by a free night in Berlin with dinner on your own.
Overnight: BERLIN
Day 8
Sunday, November 3, 2024

In a synod of Rabbis in Troyes around 1150 the leadership of the Jews in Germany was transferred to the Jewish communities of Speyer, Worms and Mainz. –This was confirmed by a convention of Rabbis in Mainz. The three communities created a federation called “SHUM” and kept this leadership until the middle of the 13th century. Over a period of decades, these communities enacted a body of regulations known as Takkanot SHUM. The SHUM-Cities had their own rite and were accepted as central authority in legal and religious matters. Speyer had renowned Jewish schools and a highly frequented Yeshiva. Because of their high esteem in the Middle Ages the three SHUM-Cities were praised as “Rhenish Jerusalem.” They had considerable influence on the development of Ashkenazi culture. In the 13th century Issac ben Mose Or Sarua from Vienna wrote: “From our teachers in Mainz, Worms and Speyer the teachings were spread to all of Israel …”

  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • Check out of hotel and depart for the Berlin airport.
  • Flight to Frankfurt.
  • Upon arrival in Frankfurt, drive to the city of Worms.
  • Begin with a visit to Jewish Museum Worms Rashi-House, and the exhibit “ShUM on the Rhine – from the Middle Ages to Modernity” which shares a a journey through time to the heyday of the Jewish communities in the ShUM-Cities of Speyer, Worms and Mainz
    • Explore the SHuM Cities and their Manifestation in our Jewish Lives Today, an in depth look at what the three cities of Shpira (Sh), Warmaisa (W=U), and Magenza (M), today known as Speyer, Worms (Wermisa) and Mainz, in conjunction with the ShUM Educational Center.
  • Continue to Judengasse, the restored Rashi Synagogue and Rashi Chapel, with the first synagogue on the site dating back to 1034, known as the oldest synagogue in Germany.
  • Conclude the visit to Worms at the Heiliger Sand Cemetery, just outside Worms which holds some of the oldest Jewish tombstones in Europe, some dating as far back as 1049.
  • Drive to Mainz and check in to hotel.
  • Dinner, followed by a group conversation and free evening in Mainz.
Overnight: MAINZ
Day 9
Monday, November 4, 2024
  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • Guided walk through the Old Town of Mainz, otherwise known as Magenza, one of the SHUM communities, Mainz was also a Roman fort city along the northern border of the Roman Empire.
  • Visit the local Mainz synagogue and community center, with its modern design, forming the letters for Kedusha – Holiness and which serves as a conduit of tradition and stories from the Magenza of ShUm to the contemporary Jewish community of Germany.
  • Continue to the Gutenberg Museum, dedicated to Johannes Gutenberg, who, invented printing approximately 550 years ago –
  • Drive to Bingen, and board a Rhine River Boat, for a cruise through the Upper Middle Rhine Valley, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with its many castles and natural beauty.
  • Return to Bingen, and drive to Frankfurt.
  • Check in to Frankfurt hotel.
  • Free evening with dinner on your own.
Overnight: FRANKFURT
Day 10
Tuesday, November 5, 2024
  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • Guided tour of Jewish Frankfurt, including a selection of the following sites:
    • Paul’s Church, St Paul’s Churchis a former Protestant church whose importance and political symbolism dates back to 1848.
    • Saalgasse, one of the oldest streets in recognizable Frankfurt, which was a main Jewish center in Frankfurt in the 14th
    • Weckmarkt
    • The Dom Museum, houses some of the most valuable sacred and historic artefacts in the world
    • The Römerberg Courtyard, a public space and the site of numerous imperial coronations, .
    • The Staufenmauer city fortifications from the 12th
    • The Fahrgasse main street from the 12th
    • The Battonnstraße – the old Jewish cemetery of Frankfurt.
    • The Börneplatz Memorial Place to the victims of the Shoa.
    • Grossmarkthall- former wholesale market, which is now the sear of the Central European Bank
    • Goethe Haus It is the birthplace and childhood home of German poet and playwright Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.
  • Wrap Up conversation, followed by concluding group dinner.
Overnight: FRANKFURT
Wednesday, November 6, 2024
  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • Drive to Frankfurt Airport.

Those Returning to the United States

  • Flight to the United States, arriving the same day.

Those Continuing to Vienna

  • Flight to Vienna.
  • Arrive at the Vienna International airport and drive into the city for an introductory viewpoint tour of the city, continuing with an orientation walking tour through the heart of the city, for a glimpse into the grand Hapsburg Dynasty including, the grand  Staatsoper Opera House, the Albertina Gallery, once a home to various archdukes, it now houses an extraordinary collection of art, the Augustinekirche once-serving court church to the Habsburgs and concluding at the
  • Free time to stop at one of the famous Vienna cafes for light lunch and Viennese Strudel.
  • Continue to the “Stadttempel”, Vienna’s main Synagogue, which was the only synagogue in Vienna that survived Kristallnacht.
  • Guided walk to the Judenplatz, the central memorial and cultural revival space of Jewish Vienna, including the Holocaust Memorial located in the heart of the Jewish ghetto and the Jewish Museum, which features a multimedia presentation on the religious, cultural, and social life of the Viennese Jews in the Middle Ages and the excavations of a medieval synagogue.
  • Check in to hotel, followed by a free evening and dinner on your own in Vienna.
Overnight: VIENNA
Thursday, November 7, 2024
  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • Jewish Vienna, with Mag. Dr. Klaus Davidowicz – expert on Jewish cultural history and contemporary Jewish life, through film at the University of Vienna.
  • Freud and Vienna” – Visit and explore the Freud House, where Sigmund Freud lived and worked from 1891 until 1938, including a special program at the Freud Archives with chief archivist, Simona Faxa (pc).
  • Tour of Schönbrunn Palace with its gardens and park for a glimpse at the magnificent world of Baroque culture.
  • Lunch on your own in central Vienna.
  • Free Time to explore Vienna, with its multitude of cultural, historical, and natural beauty options, with time for rest, relaxation and shopping
  • Optional Viennese Cultural Experience, possibilities include, opera, chamber or full orchestra concert, dinner concert and ballet. (Additional Cost)
Overnight: VIENNA
Friday, November 8, 2024
  • Breakfast at the hotel.

Choose one of the following options for the entire group

Option 1

  • Depart for Bratislava.
  • Visit Bratislava’s Jewish sights and get to know the history of this once important community. You will see the Mausoleum of Chatam Sofer whose grave is the city’s most important Jewish sight. Afterwards we will visit the Museum of Jewish Culture which displays a rich collection of artifacts representing everyday life in detail. You will see where the ghetto was situated and have a look at the Wall of Memories and a picture of the ruined synagogue. Finally, you will visit the only remaining synagogue in Bratislava and learn about today’s Jewish community.

Option 2

  • Visit the former Mauthausen concentration campand learn about the darkest chapters of Austria’s history at Mauthausen Memorial.
  • Stop at the Melk Cathedral, for a glimpse into the complex relationship between the Catholic Church and Austrias Jewish community.
  • Drive back to Vienna.
  • Shabbat preparations.
  • Kabbalat Shabbat with a local Jewish congregation.
  • Shabbat Dinner.
Overnight: VIENNA
Saturday (Shabbat), November 9, 2024
  • Breakfast at the hotel, with Shabbat lunch included.
  • Possible options for the day:
  • Optional services in Vienna’s Conservative Synagogue.
  • Free day to explore Vienna.
  • Guided options available for additional expense.
  • Havdallah.
  • Wrap-up conversation and dinner at a restaurant.
Overnight: VIENNA
Sunday, November 10, 2024
  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • Check out and drive to the Vienna Airport for departure flight to the United States, landing the same day.

Program is subject to change, pending confirmations.

Per person, based on double-occupancy
Single-occupancy supplement

* Based on 20 full-paying participants.  Prices do not include flights.


6 nights Scandic Hotel Potsdamer Platz, Berlin
1 night Novotel Hotel, Mainz
2 nights Scandic Hotel Museumsufer, Frankfurt


Land Price Includes:

  • Group Assistance and Transfer upon arrival and departure (1 group flight)
  • Makor Educator and local guide
  • All group Transportation in Germany on a private luxury bus
  • Hotel Accommodations per above ** or similar, pending confirmation
  • All Site Admissions and programs as per the itinerary
  • Meals
    • Breakfast daily
    • 4 lunches
    • 4 dinners
  • Source Materials, Hat, Bag
  • Water on bus daily
  • Porterage at hotels
  • Gratuities

Not Included:

  • Meals on own and out of pocket expenses
  • Travel and Medical Insurance
  • Flights


Payment and Refund Schedule

Payment Schedule

Upon Registration — Deposit of $500 per participant

June 1, 2024 — 50% of Total Payment

August 15, 2024 — Full Payment


Refund Schedule

Cancel Before June 1, 2024 — Full Refund

Cancel between June 1, 2024 and August 15, 2024 — 50% Refund

Cancel between August 15 and September 15, 2024 — 25% Refund

Cancel after September 15, 2024 — No Refund


For more information, please contact Robin, [email protected]


Travel Insurance:
We urge you to purchase cancellation insurance & supplemental medical coverage (which covers pre-existing conditions). This is a smart way to safeguard against life’s surprises.
Please follow this link to  Travel Guard  for a reliable insurance provider.  If you have an insurance provider that you use, please feel free to approach them instead.

Important information about timing for purchase of travel insurance:

  • most insurance policies require purchase within 21 days of your first payment* in order to receive maximum coverage (pre-existing conditions, bankruptcy insurance, etc).  (*your $500 deposit)
  • even if you do not yet know the final trip cost (e.g. flights), write down the amount you do know – and then at a later date, you can amend the insurance premium.
  • trip dates are for the entire period away from home
  • trip costs are all pre-paid expenses (e.g. airfare + land costs)
Per person, based on double-occupancy
Single-occupancy supplement

* Based on 15 full-paying participants.  Prices do not include flights.


4 nights Mercure Wien Zentrum Hotel, Vienna


Land Price Includes:

  • Group Assistance and Transfer upon arrival and departure (1 group flight)
  • Makor Educator and local guide
  • All group Transportation in Austria on a private luxury bus
  • Hotel Accommodations per above ** or similar, pending confirmation
  • All Site Admissions and programs as per the itinerary
  • Meals
    • Breakfast daily
    • Shabbat dinner
    • Shabbat lunch
  • Water on bus daily
  • Porterage at hotels
  • Gratuities

Not Included:

  • Meals on own and out of pocket expenses
  • Travel and Medical Insurance
  • Flights